The Scottish legal system is in a state of flux at the moment with a number of changes under discussion which could radically affect your freedom to go to court to settle a dispute, a grievance, or to defend your rights.
The most worrying, and arguably the one the man in the street knows least about, is a proposal to make you and I bear the total cost of our civil court system.
Over the last few years various administrations at Holyrood have reduced the state’s contribution to funding our civil courts to such an extent that the public currently pays 70% of the running costs and the government a measly 30%.
The government’s declared intention is to achieve 100% recovery, which basically means anyone using our civil courts foots their entire bill for their running costs.
I personally think that’s an outrage, particularly as the state, quite rightly, funds the entire costs of our criminal courts.
Fortunately the STUC agrees, and has lodged a petition at the Scottish Parliament calling on the Government to ensure access to justice for all by abandoning its policy of making users pay for our civil courts.
Thompsons had the opportunity to join the STUC in giving evidence to the Petitions Committee who agreed the issue should be addressed.
Now the Law Society of Scotland, the Faculty of Advocates and Consumer Focus Scotland, formerly the Scottish Consumer Council, have given their public backing to the petition.
Changing the Government’s mind won’t be easy, but it’s a battle the STUC and Thompsons are determined to win.